Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Sunday 2 April 2017 – The Manchester Marathon

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The first Manchester Marathon was run in 1908, starting and finishing at the Saracen's Head pub in Warburton in Trafford. This was a 20 mile (there was no established distance for a marathon then) run organised by Salford Harriers.

The first ever amateur marathon to be run using the now established marathon distance of 26 miles 385 yard distance was the Manchester Marathon in 1909. This marathon started in Sandbach and finished at the Fallowfield Stadium in Manchester.

After a 14 year gap, the Manchester marathon returned and kept the same course from 1923 to 1928 and 1931 to 1936. This route started and finished at the Fallowfield Stadium passing through Cheadle, Timperley, Altrincham, Hale Barns, Styal and Gatley.

From 1969 to 1973 the Maxol marathons started from Manchester Town Hall and finished at Old Trafford football stadium. Manchester Marathons were then run from 1981 to 1985 and from 1996 to 2002.

Then, after an absence of ten years, the Manchester Marathon was brought back to Trafford in 2012. 

After the 2015 event came the news that “24,000 people have not completed the Greater Manchester Marathon after the course was found to be 380m too short for the past three years, with all runners between the 2013 and 2015 events having their times invalidated”.

Oh dear!

Today nearly 9000 runners, including 2600 women, ran round the re-measured and re-measured again course in perfect weather. Sue and Ken and I took our dinner bell off to Timperley where outward bound runners passed the 11 mile mark and those returning from ‘The Altrincham Loop’ passed us again after 14 miles.

We spotted a few friends. Jackie C not unexpectedly produced the star performance, coming in 12th out of 80 in her age group in a time of 3 hours 53 minutes. She just held off a last minute dash from a Wythenshawe parkrun run director, Alan, who finished a couple of minutes later.

Doesn’t Mrs C look so relaxed?!

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Jayme who does TGO Challenges managed 4.11 for his first marathon; SWOG Helen came in in a creditable 4.56 on her first, and another first timer, parkrun Ron, took 5.13, possibly slowed by chatting with us in Timperley for a while. We also saw Paul and Edyta, Frank, and Claire, as well as a host of Sale Harriers who sometimes appear at parkruns.

Well done to all of them, and I do hope the course was measured correctly!

The following photos were just random ones of people who probably finished in times around 3.30 to 3.45. It was hard to cheer, ring a bell and take photos all at the same time…

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2 comments:

Sir Hugh said...

I presume the course was running in both directions here? Reminds me of running the Fairfield Horseshoe a few years ago anticlockwise not knowing it was the day of the fell race. As I descended from Fairfield they were all coming up and shouting at me to say I was going the wrong way.

Phreerunner said...

Yes Conrad, it was 11 miles outbound and the 14 mile point for those facing us. Nobody was accused of going the wrong way, but quite a few people paused to embrace and encourage their friends who were three miles behind/ahead. It was all very jolly, thanks in part to lots of supporters in the perfect weather.